Advancing the health and well-being of animals and people

Writing a Cover Letter


Writing a Cover Letter

A cover letter must accompany every letter or CV you send out.  A cover letter is NOT a letter that simply refers the reader to the enclosed letter.  Like the resume, it should be tailored to the position you are applying for.  A cover letter is your opportunity to introduce yourself, state yourobjective and highlight aspects of your qualifications that speak to your fit for the position you are applying to.  Cover letters are often scrutinized as samples of written communication.  A well -written cover letter will encourage the reader to take a serious look at your resume; conversely a poorly written cover letter can doom your job prospects even if you are potentially a great fit for the job.

Sections of a Cover Letter
All sections must be left justified

Your address
House/Apt number, Street
City, State


 Recipient’s name, title and address
Dr/Ms/Mr First and Last Name
Working title
Name of institution/organization
Building number, Street
City, State

Dear Dr/Ms/Mr Last Name

Please do not address it to ‘To Whom it May Concern’

Opening Paragraph
Express your intent
Introduce yourself and refer to your degree and anticipate graduation
Indicate how you heard about the position
Why you are interested in the specific practice

Second Paragraph
Elaborate on your qualifications and highlight aspects of your resume that are the most relevant to the job
Focus on your unique skill set and how it would be an asset to the prospective employer
Make a case for the fitbetween your interests and qualifications and the employer’s needs
Mention any special skills

Closing Paragraph
Express your desire to discuss the position in person (if possible) and indicate a specific plan (date and time) for follow-up. Express you willingness to clarify anything pertaining to your application or resume.

Thank the prospective employer for taking the time to consider your application.

Letter of Intent (for externships)

Opening Paragraph
Introduce yourself and state why you are writing to them. (you may want to add how you heard about them).

Second Paragraph
Talk about why you are interested in participating in an externship at the particular institution (eg- AMC or the National Aquarium).
Specifically, disucuss your current professional interest and how the externship fits in with that interest and your future goals. 
Share briefly what other professional exposure you have had that has prepared you to make the most out of an externship at the particular institution

Closing Paragraph
Reiterate your interest in the position and provide them with the specific time period during which you are seeking to pursue the experience.
Express you willingness to clarify anything pertaining to your application or resume.